Monday, January 28, 2013

Archer County Birding

Well, Sunday morning I decided to head to Archer County after feeding the hawks at Wild Bird Rescue, to see if I could make a dent in my Texas Century Club count for that county. I can't say I had the best morning, but good enough. I did add a couple of species to my county list.

I went out toward Archer City and stopped at Lake Archer. No birds on the water, but I did pick up a few small birds such as a song sparrow and spotted towhee, as well as the first cedar waxwings I have seen this winter, so it was a nice stop.

Harlan's red-tailed hawk, photo Dominic Sherony, Wikimedia Commons
My best  bird of the day was a dark-morph Harlan's red-tailed hawk. Although red-tailed hawks are fairly common in the winter, the Harlan's subspecies is more common further west. I was driving on FM 368 near Camp Stonewall Jackson when I saw what at first glance looked like a turkey vulture sitting on a stump, but its head wasn't right. It was a large, dark bird, which brought the turkey vulture to mind. I did a U-turn and went back for a better look. I got a good look as the bird flushed--no doubt of the I.D.

I usually stop at Camp Stonewall Jackson, but noticed a few cars, so didn't. That is one of the disadvantages of birding alone as a woman--even we older women have to be concerned with safety in more isolated locations. Although men need to be safety conscious as well, the threat is more for a woman alone.

In slightly less than three hours I saw the following birds: mallard, great blue heron, Eurasian collared dove, mourning dove, red-tailed hawk (to include 1 Harlan's), American kestrel, northern harrier, northern mockingbird, loggerhead shrike, blue jay, eastern bluebird, eastern meadowlark, American crow, cedar waxwing, great-tailed grackle, red-winged blackbird, European starling, white-crowned sparrow, song sparrow, dark-eyed junco, spotted towhee, house sparrow.

Overall, not a bad day.

Good birding!

No comments: